First Cyntergy Hurtland Cyclocross Race Held In Tulsa
TULSA, Oklahoma - Two hundred and ninety cyclists from 11 states came to Tulsa this weekend for a cyclocross competition in Owen Park. Tulsa Tough race organizers debuted their first off-road event, the Cyntergy Hurtland Cyclocross.
Cyclists swapped out their road bikes for something that got them over the river and through the woods of Owen Park.
Tulsa Tough transformed Owen Park - one of Tulsa's oldest - into a cyclocross race course. Knobby tired bikes went around the 6-mile course several times, going over obstacles like steps. around several times, even going over some obstacles like steps.
Blue tape carved out the off-road bicycle race course just west of downtown Tulsa. Tulsa Tough organizers took their experience from road racing and created the Cyntergy Hurtland.
"We're out here, and it's unbelievable - the response from the out-of-towners, people from all over the Midwest have traveled here, lot of fun," said Malcolm McCollam, Tulsa Tough. McCollam created the Tulsa Tough road races a decade ago.
Now he's took the road races you might remember from the Friday night Blue Dome District race, off-road to Tulsa's oldest park.
Racers of all ages took their off-road bikes onto the cross-country course going through creeks, over obstacles and up long staircases.
"This is probably one of the better ones we've had this year in this part of the state," said racer Paul Watkins.
Watkins enjoyed the challenging course.
"As far as the course wise, you've got a good, good cross course that coincides with the really, really hard Tulsa Tough course, so I think they did a really really good job," he said.
Cyclocross racing starts in the fall after the road race season comes to an end. The bikes look similar, and most of the competitors race on and off-road.
"It keeps fitness up in the winter as well for the road season," said Greg Brown, a writer for Velo News magazine.
Brown says the cycling sport is gaining popularity.
"Cyclocross is growing all around the world in the northwest around Oregon and the northeast as well. and I think this race shows it here. You see all the competitors going at it," he said.
Tulsa Tough organizers are applying to make Cyntergy Hurtland an international sanctioned event for 2016 drawing racers from all around the world to Tulsa.
The Route 66 5K run and walk was also held in Tulsa Saturday.On Sunday, the half and full marathons start at 8 a.m. leaving from 7th and Main.
The roads are scheduled to re-open Sunday night at 11 p.m., after the marathon.